In each of these poems, taken from his long work The Interpreter of Desire, the Sufi master Ibn 'Arabi (11651240) evokes the transcendent experience of spiritual love—provoked by his encounter with a young Persian woman named Nizham, "harmony." Nizham becomes the emblem of the perfect expression of love, of beauty, of divinity. He discovers her and loves her in desert sand dunes, in the beneficent shades of rare groves, in the cool wind, in the dazzling sun—in all the movements of nature. Calligraphy (from the Greek for "beautiful writing") is an art where word and image meet, where the artist strives to give visual expression to the meaning of words in a way that transcends the text while remaining completely faithful to it. It is a discipline that has been invested with spiritual significance wherever it has arisen—and it has arisen throughout the world in every age, in virtually every language, culture, and religion. The Shambhala Calligraphy series is a collection of books devoted to contemporary expressions of this "art of the word," featuring contemporary calligraphers' striking new interpretations of texts that have been traditional subjects for calligraphic interpretation. Whether in Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, or Chinese pictographs, the characters, words, and sentences are brought to life anew here in a choreography of mind, hand, and heart by which letter and spirit fuse in a single stroke.